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Tinubu, S’West govs, leaders kick against secession

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All Progressives Congress chieftains in the South-West have opposed the agitations for secession across the nation.

These South-West leaders, who rose from a meeting on Sunday in Lagos, said a united and peaceful Nigeria should remain the pursuit of all well-meaning citizens.

The meeting was attended by National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; South West state governors, Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila and other stakeholders.

A communiqué at the end of the meeting signed by former Interim National Chairman of the APC, Chief Bisi Akande, also endorsed the ban on open grazing by Southern Governors in their recent Asaba meeting.

The communiqué read in part, “They express their strong opposition to separatist agitations and hate speeches. While urging those indulging in such to desist forthwith, they renew their belief in the unity, stability and sustainability of the country.

‘’ We note with significant concern the security situation in the country. Terrorism and violent criminality threaten many areas, adversely affecting the lives and livelihoods of too many innocent and peace-loving Nigerians.

“While mindful of the resource and other constraints facing the nation, we urge the federal government to continue to make the necessary expenditures and allocate sufficient resources to enable the military and security agencies to tackle the difficult security challenges confronting us.

“We urge government at all levels, security agencies, and public leaders across the country to do everything possible to prevent tension so that we sustain the necessary unity to defeat these challenges to our national security.

“All responsible Nigerians must speak and act in a manner that strengthens our common cause against these common threats to our collective peace, justice and development.

“We restate our abhorrence of violence as a means to achieve either political or economic power and influence. We strongly condemn violence of any form in any part of the country, regardless of ethnic or regional identity of the perpetrators of the violence or of the victims. Government must do all it can to protect potential victims and to assist those who have previously been victimized by terrorism or widespread banditry.

“We hold to the view that true federalism where more power and resources are allocated to the states will be an essential part in strengthening society and improving democratic governance so that we beat the present challenges but also engender durable peace and security.

“True federalism and the reallocation of resources and authority that comes with it will empower the states to solve localized issues before they spread and transform into national ones.

  1. “In addition to mitigating political competition for control of the national government, greater federalism will empower grassroots economic development and political reforms that will stand as bulwarks against the terrorism and criminality now experienced in too many parts of the nation. A hallmark of this enhanced federalism will be the establishment of state police forces.”

 

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We won’t tamper with foreign currency in your dom accounts, CBN assures customers

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says speculations that the apex bank is considering converting foreign exchange (FX) in the domiciliary accounts of customers to naira should be ignored.

 

Speaking with reporters on Monday in Abuja, Osita Nwanisobi, the apex bank’s acting director in charge of corporate communications, described those making such allegations as “criminal speculators whose intention was to create panic in the foreign exchange market”.

 

On Tuesday, CBN announced that it would discontinue sales of FX to Bureau De Change operators(BDCs).

 

Godwin Emefiele, governor of the apex bank, had accused BDCs of becoming agents for illegal financial flows and working with corrupt people to conduct money laundering in Nigeria.

 

The development has heightened fears of forex scarcity among Nigerians and led to a significant drop in the value of the naira against the dollar.

 

Addressing insinuations about CBN’s plan to check the purported unavailability of forex, Nwasinobi assured that the apex bank will not tamper with the foreign exchange deposits in the accounts of customers.

 

“At no time did the CBN ever imply that it would tinker with the foreign exchange deposits of customers,” he said.

 

Nwasinobi urged operators of domiciliary accounts and other members of the banking public to go about their legitimate foreign exchange transactions and disregard fictitious stories aimed at pitching them against the apex bank and triggering chaos in the system.

 

Nwanisobi assured the banking public that the CBN would monitor the commercial banks to ensure they meet the legitimate FX demands of customers.

 

He said the CBN had put in place monitoring mechanism to guarantee the seamless sale of foreign exchange to customers who supported their requests with relevant documentation.

 

He also said the CBN had extracted the commitment of the banks, through their chief executive officers, that customers with legitimate FX requests will not be turned back.

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FG adopts gas as strategy towards climate-change-net-zero-emission ― Sylva

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The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, Tuesday, disclosed that the Federal Government has adopted gas as a strategy to meeting the nation’s climate-change-net-zero-emission target.

 

Speaking at the Annual International Conference & Exhibition of the Society of Petroleum Engineers in Lagos with the theme: “The Future of Energy – A Trilogy of Determinants: Climate Change, Public Health, and the Global Oil Market”, he expressed the government’s concern about joining the rest of the world to transit from oil to cleaner fuels.

 

Specifically, he said: “Let me state categorically that our approach towards the climate-change-net-zero-emission debate is to optimize the use of our abundant gas resource domestically as a transition fuel option towards meeting our Nationally Determined Contributions to climate change.

 

“As a Government, we are determined to encourage more penetration of natural gas and its derivatives for domestic utilisation, power generation, gas-based industries, and propulsion in all aspects of the national economy. This would in a fundamental manner address the great challenge posed by volatile oil market, the environmental issues and public health concerns.”

 

The Minister of State, who reflected on current issues in the global oil market, said: “Regarding the global oil market in the foreseeable years, it is becoming obvious that a global migration from a fossil fuel-based economy to renewable would engender a corresponding decline in hydrocarbon including possible divestiture in the sector as deliberate frameworks are being championed to discourage the extraction of carbon-laden resources. The COVID-19 Pandemic has further exacerbated the investment decline.

 

“The Government of Nigeria in collaboration with global partners are exploring policies, technologies, and investments to address the current global challenge that will support migration from our reliance on carbon dependent fuels to meeting our commitment to the Paris Agreement.”

 

He, however, added: “It is our belief that the distinguished Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) will be at the forefront of our quest to achieve the desired balance of a clean environment, safe public health, and a renewed global oil market. This SPE Annual International Conference and Exhibition will be an appropriate platform to bring to the front-burner the critical discussions that would forge a robust and implementable clean energy solutions pathway for Nigeria.”

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Court unfreezes Dokpesi’s accounts, orders release of seized documents

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A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered accounts of businessman and politician, Raymond Dokpesi be unfrozen.

 

The Court also ordered the release of his documents being held by the State.

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had obtained court order freezing the accounts and seized his documents in the course of prosecuting Dokpesi and his company, Daar Investment and Holdings Limited, before the court.

 

They were charged with engaging in procurement fraud and breach of public trust, in relation to the N2.1billion they got from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), under Colonel Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (rtd).

 

In a judgment on April 1, the Court of Appeal in Abuja set aside the November 21, 2018 ruling by Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court, rejecting their no-case submission and ordering Dokpesi and his company to enter a defence.

 

In her lead judgment in the unanimous decision of the appellate court’s three-man panel, Justice Elfrieda Williams-Daudu, held among others, that the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case against Dokpesi and his company to warrant their being called upon to enter a defence.

 

The Court of Appeal then upheld their no-case submission, quashed the charge against them and discharged and acquitted them.

 

Armed with the Court of Appeal decision, Dokpesi returned to the Federal High Court, Abuja with an application for orders directing the EFCC to unfreeze his account and return documents seized from him while his trial lasted.

 

In a ruling on Tuesday, Justice Tsoho rejected the opposition by the prosecution and proceeded to grant the application by Dokpesi and his company.

 

Justice Tsoho, who is the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, held that since the charge which precipitated the restriction on the accounts had been quashed and the applicants discharged and acquitted by the Court of Appeal, the restriction could no longer be justified.

 

The judge further held that the EFCC had no basis to sustain the post no debit order on the accounts in view of the subsisting and valid order of the Court of Appeal.

 

He noted that the EFCC did not obtain any order staying the execution of the judgment of the Court of Appeal since it was delivered on April 1.

 

On EFCC’s argument that it has lodged an appeal at the Supreme Court against the judgment of Court of Appeal, Justice Tsoho held that the notice of appeal filed at the apex court cannot, in law, stay the execution of the subsisting judgment.

 

He added that the prosecution ought to have obtained an order staying the execution of the judgment.

 

Justice Tsoho was of the view that in the absence of any order staying the execution of the judgment by the Court of Appeal, his court was bound by law to give effect to the judgment.

 

He then ordered that the vacation of the freezing order earlier obtained by the EFCC on the accounts in compliance with the judgment of the Court of Appeal.

 

The judge equally ordered that all documents seized from Dokpesi or voluntarily surrendered by him to the state be immediately returned to him.

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